Such were the tactics of one Charles Reinhardt, intrepid reporter from the literary hinterlands of Brooklyn, who approached me on behalf of his employer and online literary magazine Volume 1. Brooklyn. I must admit I initially considered his proposal of interviewing a semicoherent apologist for the financial industry on behalf of his distinctly hip, educated literary audience an intriguing, albeit unorthodox (and perhaps ill-conceived) project. But I am not immune to flattery. And I must own that the hook was set when I subsequently viewed his employer’s motto on the website:
If you’re smart, you will probably like us.
Well, of course then.
In any event, Mr. Reinhardt served up several appropriately non-financial softball questions for me to toy with, and toy with them I did. A sample:
How did the blog start?
The beginnings of my blog are shrouded in the mists of internet time. I dimly recall beginning to read certain online blogs like Marginal Revolution, Calculated Risk, and Going Private in the 2005-2006 timeframe and thinking–if not exactly that I could do that myself–that it might be quite nice to have my own soapbox. Part of it, I suppose, was driven by the sense I had that few people commenting or reporting online actually knew what the hell they were talking about when it came to finance. I thought I could actually add something valuable–or at least factual–to the conversation. Part of it was undeniably driven by boredom with the quotidian concerns and demands of my profession which, I am the first to admit, can be staggeringly sterile, routine, and blinkered. And part, of course, was driven by a desire to test whether I could write entertaining and informative prose, bolstered by the narcissistic conviction that I could. I started blogging in January 2007, and the world has been suffering miserably ever since.
There is much, much more. Go read it.
And if enough of you flatter my ego by reading it, I just may cancel my new project of selling artisanal cupcakes in Williamsburg on the weekends. Then again, maybe I won’t. I’m beginning to dig my new hipster cred.
Charles Reinhardt, The Bookish Banker: An Interview with The Epicurean Dealmaker (Volume 1. Brooklyn, January 8, 2013)
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